Process

Overview
Counseling can help you learn to make better decisions. It can help you improve personal skills, develop greater confidence in your academic performance, define career directions and acquire a keener awareness and appreciation of your needs and those of other people. With counseling, you can improve your communication with a special person, establish more meaningful relationships, or cope more effectively with feelings of depression or anxiety. Any personal, academic, or career concern may be explored in counseling.
 
During counseling, you will be helped to clarify feelings and needs. You and your counselor will work together to define realistic goals and explore available options. As you discover ways to make changes, you will be better able to direct your choices. Counseling is an active process, both during sessions and outside of counseling, as you implement new skills and insights. Depending upon the intensity of concern(s), and level of involvement in making needed changes, students are generally able to resolve difficulties in four to eight counseling sessions.
 
Our experience in counseling Denison students, and the surveys we have conducted of our service consumers, indicate that most students who participate in counseling benefit from the experience. We are also aware, however, that counseling may not be as helpful as we would like for everyone. In fact, some students may feel worse, at least briefly, because participation in counseling can bring forth long-forgotten painful memories or create the need to confront present circumstances that have been avoided. Some students may enter counseling for brief periods and then withdraw because they aren't ready to fully face their lingering concerns. For them, each contact with a counselor represents a further step in a progression toward participating in counseling on a more sustained basis.
Counseling Staff & Services
Counseling Services is a unit within the Denison Health and Counseling Center. Counseling is available to Denison students on a short term basis. The service you receive is designed to be appropriate to your needs, to protect the confidentiality of your relationship with your counselor, and to insure that you will be treated with dignity and respect.
  • The counseling staff come from a variety of backgrounds and training levels including doctoral level psychologists, masters level counselors, and those in advanced practicum training. Professional and trainee staff are supervised by a licensed psychologist.
  • Every attempt is made at the initial interview to match you with a staff member or service that will best meet your particular needs. Decisions about who can best assist you are usually based upon the nature of your concerns, the skills and availability of the staff member, and the personal compatibility between the two of you. In most instances, students prefer to stay in counseling with the staff member they have seen at the first interview. Sometimes, however the best course of action will be a referral to another person on the Counseling Services staff, or to a professional in the community. We will make every reasonable effort to help you find the best form of assistance.
  • In addition to meeting individually with a staff member, you may be involved in group counseling. Group counseling offers the unique opportunity to gain insight into yourself and others as you explore your concerns together. Personal growth groups and skill-building groups/workshops are made available to students wishing to participate in them on topics such as alcohol abuse, assertiveness, multicultural issues, relaxation training, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, academic effectiveness, eating and body image concerns, and career decision-making.
  • Psychoeducational resources in the form of taped or written materials are also available to provide you with self-guided assistance.
Confidentiality
The ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the laws of the State of Ohio guide the services offered by the counseling staff. These guidelines require that the information you share with your counselor will not be given to individuals who are not on the professional counseling staff without your knowledge and written consent, and no record of your use of this service will be placed in your college records, placement files, or your official transcript.
 
For a complete run down of all of your confidentiality rights as a patient, please visit our Confidentiality page.
A Shared Responsibility

A personal commitment to helping yourself is a crucial component to an effective counseling process. Counselors can only help you if you are willing to receive and accept help, attend scheduled sessions, and engage in new ways of thinking and acting outside of the counseling setting.

  • If you will be delayed in coming at your scheduled time, or if you must cancel your appointment, please notify the administrative assistant at (740)587-6647, preferably at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment. If you wish to terminate your counseling sessions, please call or come in immediately to inform your counselor.
  • Your counselor will make every attempt to be prompt for your appointment. However, there may be occasions when, due to an emergency, the counselor must delay or cancel your appointment. We regret the inconvenience this might cause you and, with your permission, we will attempt to inform you of this change by e-mail or telephone.
  • After several counseling sessions, you may conclude that you would benefit more by meeting with a staff member who has a different approach or personal style. We encourage you to share your thoughts with the person you have been seeing before you initiate such a change. With your input, the staff member may be able to adjust her/his approach to more effectively assist you. Your counselor can also assist you in locating another professional whose approach to counseling may be more compatible with your needs.

If you have any questions about our programs and services, our mutual responsibilities, or confidentiality, please ask the administrative assistant or your counselor for the information you need.